Wednesday, June 11, 2014


My favorite mug that I drink my coffee out of every morning. 

The sun has been shining brightly for about 18 hours of the day. It sure is hard to leave London when the weather is this perfect and the city seems to be so infectiously alive. 

It's funny comparing this time last year to this time now. The year has flown by, and we are both so thankful we made the choice to move here, even if it did end up being only for a year. All of the sacrifices (moving is very stressful, not to mention I quit a job I loved and we had to be apart from family and friends) that we had to make to spend a year in London were definitely worth it, and the idea of us saying "no" when the question to move here first arose makes me sad to think about.

What keeps coming to my mind is how everything just seems to fall into place- there is no need to worry or bust your butt to force things to happen. Last year we were so stressed out about moving- would we find renters for our house? What would it be like losing my income? Will we hate London? I see how having those worries didn't help anything and made for some unneeded anxiety. Remembering this is keeping me sane while preparing to move back to Houston, knowing that what needs to get done will get done and everything will just work out. 

So, that's where my mind has been recently. Reminiscing on this past year and legitimately excited to find out what will happen in this next chapter of our life! Also, I don't tend to be a sentimental person, but I find myself lately being one of those people that starts every activity with "This is the last time I'll ____". 

This weekend was my last weekend to be alone with Daniel in London, as his family arrives tomorrow!!! And my brother comes in a couple of weeks!!!

We were blessed with sunny 80 degree days, so on Saturday we went up to Hampstead and enjoyed some beer gardens. 

Unfortunately I forgot how to smile, and look derpy in ever single picture. We also went to a new burger place that just opened and followed that with dessert from Louis, a Hungarian Confectionery. So good! 

On Sunday, Daniel went to see a movie with a friend while I did some chores around the flat. Then, we did one of my favorite things- walked along the canal to Regent's Park. The Queen's Rose garden in Regent's is blooming in full force and has been something I have been wanting to walk through for awhile. It is only blooming a few months out of the year, so I'm happy we got to walk through there one more time. 
Speaking of blooming flowers, the Hydrangeas in our front garden are beginning to bloom! So exciting to see that some beauty has come from the past 8 months of cold, dark and rainy days. The parks are so lusciously green and it's like the streets are lined with different flowers.

 This week has been my last week to nanny for my little loves, too. I am pretty sad about that one. I have bought them each their own stationary set, complete with gel pens in every color and stickers. I also went ahead and stamped/ addressed some envelopes to myself to ensure that they'll write me!

On a lighter night, I am also counting down the days until I can say "This is my LAST TIME to have to hand wash dishes!" Cannot wait to have a dishwasher again, along with my large kitchen and oven. Because my kitchen is an overwhelmingly disaster of grimy dishes every night that I cook.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


If you go to London, you will undoubtedly walk by a huge building with bright blue lettering called Primark. You might be curious to check it out, but before you do, here is my experience with it. It ain't for everyone.

What is Primark? Imagine the dingiest Ross in Tijuana, and then combine that with Walmart the day after Thanksgiving, and add 3,000 foreigners all dragging rolly carts literally packed full with random things like 13 pairs of baby shoes, 4 sets of sheets, and enough underwear to keep a small country commando-free, and you have Primark. I hate myself and everyone in it when I go, but it is dirt cheap. Bra's for £4! Shoes for £6! Dresses for £10! The two big Primarks are along Oxford street and it's inexpensive goods might be a welcomed surprise after walking through Selfridge's and Liberty.You just have to handle staying in line for 40 minutes and dodging obstacles, like women trying on clothes in the middle of the aisles or screaming children running through clothes racks.

I've successfully been twice. The first time, I bought a bra, hangers, coco butter, gummy bears, and a £24 puffer jacket. Last week, I bought another bra, towels, and pink wedge sandals that I at first thought were cute, but then later on realized they screamed "Made in a sweat shop by a 4 year old in China", so I took them back. When I took them back, I attempted to try on clothes for the first time. HA, that was fun! I nearly ripped the paper thin fabric of the first dress I tried on, and I kind of felt like I was getting closer to catching a rare but serious disease with every new garment I tried on. I nearly bought this as a joke, but then came to the realization that no amount of bleach could kill the bacteria living in it, so I passed it up.

I say, if you're curious, poke your head in, but don't waste more than 30 minutes there (which you will if you plan on buying anything. I swear I've waited longer in line at Primark than at Disney World). Going to Primark twice this past week has given me a new profound appreciation for Target. 

Monday, June 2, 2014


Happy Summer to most of my teacher friends! Here, there are a lot of breaks during the school year, so summer is only from July 18- Sept 1 for kids. I think I prefer the longer summer and less breaks. There is something so nice about knowing you have a solid 2.5 months of watching Live with Kelly, drinking margaritas at 4 pm, and reading the day away.

I have been keeping myself very busy, and I've been bad at documenting everything with photos. These past several days, I...

--Saw 1984. I loved it. My pal Erica slept through all of it. Literally, all of it.

-Ate delicious tapas with the other Xtina and complained about terrible landlords in London.

-Ironically enough, the next day, I had a call from the realtor showing our flat. Side note, it sucks living in a rental property and having to leave for the flat to be shown to other potential renters. Daniel likes scattering ear plus around the flat in an attempt to warn them all, but I want everything to look perfect so that new tenants can be quickly found and I can stop worrying about leaving the flat at random hours for it to be shown. So, anyway, realtor calls and says, "We have found someone who is interested in moving in! I just want to make sure that you are moving out June 21st. That is what the owners listed as your moving date."

I could feel my blood boiling at this point. We have our flat until July 21, not June, although I move out a few days before then. NOT ONLY is this in our written contract, but I verbally told our landlords AND our relocation agent sent them an email reminding them of this a few weeks ago. Especially because we have a rental property, I just cannot believe their stupidity in making a pretty big mistake. So, these past couple of weeks, I have been leaving the flat for absolutely no reason, since the people seeing the flat wanted a June move in date. And if the realtor wouldn't have double checked with us, there would have been new renters trying to move in while we were out of town with Daniel's family.

We have had so many issues with our landlords this past year, and I cannot wait to be in my house again. Did I tell y'all about the time, after 4 crazy days in Madrid, we came home so excited to sleep...we walked in to our flat, and ALL of our stuff was out of our laundry room, scattered through out the flat (including my lacy underwear!) and there was a strange man painting the inside of the laundry room (because of all of the repairs that need to be done, I suppose they thought the color of a closet was the most important thing)?!? When I called the landlords, they apologized, saying that they figured we'd be gone longer, totally missing the point that it is the coming-in-to-our-flat-while-we-aren't-home-without-telling-us-and-then-moving-all-of-our-crapthat was not okay! Ok, moving on!

-Saw Fatal Attraction with Sadia. Fun sitting up close and seeing Charlotte from SATC and Karen from Californication!

I'm going to miss pubs
- Met Daniel at a pub. Also ate dim sum at Yauatcha until we felt sick.

-Went on lots of runs to calm my moving anxiety and renter rage. Plus, it has been sunny and 70 degrees. Love it!

Ok, I think that covers all of what's been going in. Have a great week, everyone!


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